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Expect 'moderate' provincial budget, says B.C. finance minister
VICTORIA -- The B.C. NDP is due to deliver its third full budget Tuesday, and after big spending on child care, housing and increasing social service supports, Carole James, the province's finance minister, is warning people to adjust their expectations.
James made the comments in Saanich, during a Family Day event. She said the backdrop was "appropriate" in terms of the government’s focus and the focus of the upcoming budget.
She added affordability for families, improving services and supports, as well as sustainability in terms of climate action and the economy were key pillars of the upcoming plan.
"There’s no question this is a more moderate economic growth budget, it’s certainly been more challenging, I think there are always more requests than there are resources for, and that’s why it’s so important to remain focused."
James said the budget will be about continuing down the road the NDP government is on. She noted the elimination of MSP fees, tolls, plus the addition of affordable childcare spaces as part of that plan.
In the 2018 budget, the government committed to a $1-billion-childcare strategy. The NDP had campaigned on a $10-a-day program. The province insists that’s still the goal, and James said more than 20 thousand families were paying $10 a day or less already.
Asked about another campaign promise, the renter’s rebate, the minister noted the Greens weren’t in support, adding there would be measures in place to strengthen support for tenants. The throne speech had mentioned more action to be taken on renters’ rights.
Housing remains a top concern for many British Columbians and James noted dealing with the real estate market is a challenge. She insisted prices are moderating, and that more families are getting an opportunity to get into the market, as she also pointed to a growth in rentals.
B.C.'s budget is set to be released at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Check out CTVNewsVancouver.ca for full coverage once it's released.